Youth Business International (YBI) and Citi Foundation announced today the launch of a regional programme to support young people to become entrepreneurs. Citi, through its Pathways to Progress initiative will invest $1mn in the programme. The programme “Expanding Youth Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship” will be established in six countries throughout Europe and will provide entrepreneurship training to 5500 young people and help them to start or develop almost 1700 businesses over the next two years.
The regional approach of this partnership will enable the sharing of best practice, knowledge and methodologies by cross border interaction. The programme will tackle unemployment and drive sustainable economic development and will be implemented by YBI members (Positive Planet - France, KIZ- Germany, PerMicroLab - Italy, Qredits - the Netherlands, Youth Business Spain - Spain and Swedish Jobs & Society- Sweden), with the support of the respective Citi offices. Rachael Barber, Head of Community Development, EMEA at Citi commented:
“Citi’s Pathways to Progress initiative is a commitment by Citi across the world to give young people the opportunity to develop their workplace skills and leadership experience and enable them to compete in the 21st century economy. We’re thrilled to partner with YBI and their member organisations to support young people in our cities across Western Europe.”
“The Citi Foundation and the Economist Intelligence Unit recently launched new research showing that 79% of young people living in cities across Europe want to be self-employed, to start or grow a small business. The Citi Foundation’s partnership with YBI will make this a reality, acting as a catalyst for development and sustainability of high potential businesses that will create jobs and support economic growth.”
YBI is building on the successful experience of other regional programmes it has established, such as Youth Entrepreneurship Programme for Eastern Caribbean and Youth Entrepreneurship Programme for Latin America. Andrew Devenport, CEO of YBI:
“A regional approach to a youth entrepreneurship programme ensures scale of impact through combining the resources, knowledge and capabilities of experienced YBI members working at national level to support young people start of grow their own business. Europe is in need of such a programme and I am confident that YBI’s regional model and Citi’s catalytic support will help tackle unemployment in Europe and drive the much needed sustainable economic development.”